Podcast Reaction: The Oscar Edition

A decades-long career in Hollywood's ultimate reward:  posing with a human ostrich.
A decades-long career in Hollywood’s ultimate reward: posing with a human ostrich.

This week on the podcast, Ryan and Watson managed not to spend the whole recording discussing box office totals, the sort of thing that makes me really miss Jenny.  Jenny, you see, like me does not care for that stuff.  But those two guys will discuss it to the pain.

TO THE PAIN!

Still, they were good this week, so what about the Oscars?

The Oscars, like any major entertainment award that isn’t a Golden Globe–that’s mostly an excuse for famous people to get drunk on live television–is a case for Hollywood types to get together and pat themselves on the back.  There is a certain glamor involved, but I never got the whole, “Who are you wearing?” question the red carpet interviewers ask.  That questions seems especially frivolous.

That can be far too literal a question in some cases.
That can be far too literal a question in some cases.

A special shout-out here to Mad Men actress Elizabeth Moss, who makes sure to flip off the camera when she gets roped into the mani-cam to show off her nails.

But to film buffs, a special kind of geek, there’s obsession over which movies that earn Best Picture actually deserve Best Picture.  Many argue that the Best Picture rarely wins.  So, in an effort to pad out this article, here are some of the more baffling winners.

  • The Hurt Locker was a pretty good movie for what it was, but it managed to beat out two better choices, neither of which were Avatar, namely Inglorious Basterds and Up.  But one of those is a cartoon and the other is far too cool for the Academy to ever give the top prize to.
  • I like Forest Gump well enough, but always thought it was a good, not a great, movie.  I always thought it was mostly the Baby Boomers patting themselves on the back.  It also beat out Pulp Fiction and modern classic Shawshank Redemption.
  • I’m a Shakespeare guy, but how did Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan?  The former does come closest to depicting what it was like to do a play in Shakespeare’s time, but the other recreated D-Day.
  • Crash over Brokeback Mountain.  Nuff said.
  • Rocky might have been a revelation when it came out, but several goofy sequels later and it sure looks like an anomaly.  It also beat out Network and Taxi Driver.
  • Does Dances with Wolves hold up?  Maybe, but Goodfellas sure does!
  • Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing may be the man’s masterpiece.  A close look at how racism affects a community, and everything Crash probably wishes it was.  It lost Best Picture to Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Three words:  The English Patient.  It should have lost to Sack Lunch.

 

Pictured:  not Siskel and Ebert.
Pictured: not Siskel and Ebert.

I will add one little observation:  the Academy really loves movies that celebrate either movies themselves, or the power of movies.  That is the best explanation I have for both The Artist and Argo, though I did enjoy both of them quite a bit.  Plus, both have John Goodman.  So, that may be a good a sign as any that Birdman will prevail this weekend.

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